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The Roman Aqueduct Of Pont Du Gard In France

The Roman Aqueduct Of Pont Du Gard In France

Within the southeast areas of France, there stays an architectural treasure from the traditional world. It’s the Roman Aqueduct of Pont Du Gard. The construction constructed probably round 19 BCE, is a testomony to the builders, who created an engineering marvel, that survives to today. The development made out of limestone is each lovely and sensible in perform, carrying each water and other people throughout the Gardon River.

The Pont du Gard aqueduct was added to UNESCO’s record of traditionally vital World Heritage Websites in 1985. It’s the highest of all elevated Roman aqueducts and the most effective preserved.

It is called one of many prime 5 vacationer points of interest in France, with properly over 1 million guests a yr.

Constructed close to the fashionable city of Vers-Pont-du-Gard, the aqueduct was constructed as three tiers of archways, to deliver water to the French metropolis of Nimes. It has been maintained by the Public Affiliation of Cultural Cooperation since 2003.

The Roman Aqueduct of Pont de Gard, has survived for over 2000 thousand years, as a result of the native populace maintained it, lengthy after the demise of the Roman Empire. Because the classical interval collapsed within the 4th and fifth centuries, most of the different aqueducts have been allowed over time, to fall into disrepair.

Map of the Roman Empire in pink, origin of the Germanic peoples shaded in inexperienced.

The destruction of the aqueduct system was at first seen, as a way to assist with the conquest of Roman territory. Some Germanic invaders would truly knock down the aqueducts, to disrupt the availability of water, to cities underneath siege. An instance of this was the assault on Rome, by the Vandals in 455 CE. One other can be the assault on Rome by the Goths, through the siege of 537 and 538 CE.

The necessity to transfer giant portions of unpolluted water from the countryside to the cities, turned more and more much less necessary, because the depopulation of city areas continued apace, with the disintegration of the Roman world. In reality, quite a lot of them have been deliberately destroyed, to drive citizenry to desert their houses.

The Roman aqueduct, situated at Pont de Gard in France, is in such fine condition as a result of it was maintained, lengthy after the autumn of the Roman Empire as a result of its use in transportation, not a lot as an aqueduct.

In its heyday, this aqueduct carried round eight.eight million gallons of water a day to houses, public baths, and city fountains, for the individuals of the world.

Your complete aqueduct system coated many miles of floor and was constructed at a price of over 30 million sesterces, an unlimited sum on the time. It might be the equal of 50 years pay for 500 new recruits, in one of many Roman legions. The every day wage of a Roman soldier on the time was simply three sesterces.

The Pont du Gard aqueduct might properly have been used as late because the sixth century, with numerous sections even longer. It was the shortage of normal upkeep after the 4th century, that may progressively lead, to the disruption of the move in water. The buildup in particles and mineral deposits over time, completely clogged the system.

The spring water accommodates excessive ranges of dissolved calcium carbonate. Leached out from surrounding limestone deposits, this materials would construct up over time, blocking the water from passing by way of. Together with fixed intrusive vegetation progress, it made periodic cleansing important, to take care of the circulate of water.

Bust of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa from the Discussion board of Gabii, at present within the Louvre, Paris

With the collapse of the Roman Empire and the gradual silting up of the aqueduct, the Pont du Gard Aqueduct remained necessary, because of its secondary perform as a strategy to cross the Gardon River. It might proceed to perform as a toll bridge, all through the Center Ages.

The Pont du Gard bridge is simply a part of the Nimes aqueduct system, a 31 mile (50 kilometer) system that based on custom, was constructed by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa round 19 BCE, to serve Nemausus, which is modern-day Nimes.

It took close to 27 hours for the water to journey from the spring to the town of Nimes.

As a son in regulation and adjutant to Emperor Caesar Augustus, Agrippa held the workplace of aedile. This was the senior official chargeable for managing the whole water provide, for the town of Rome and its colonies.

Trendy excavations nevertheless, recommend the aqueduct might have been constructed someday between 40 and 60 CE. Cash found within the outflow in Nimes, solely date again to the time of Emperor Claudius, whose reign lasted from 41 to 54 CE.

It’s thought the Nimes aqueduct system would have taken about 15 years to construct and would of employed anyplace from 800 to 1000 individuals to finish.

The uneven terrain from the spring to the town, led to an extended and winding path, that may necessitate the necessity for a bridge throughout the quite giant gorge of the Gardon River.

The bridge itself was created by use of three tiers of arches, that attain a peak of 160 ft (48.eight meters). The variety of spans on the higher degree totals 35 (initially 47). The mid degree has 11 spans with the bottom one at simply 6. The peak of the aqueduct part alone, is 6 ft (1.eight meters).

The bridge is supported by 5 piers, positioned within the river mattress.

Initially, the entire size of the bridge on the higher span was 1,180 ft or 360 meters. As we speak, what stays is 902 ft or 275 meters. The center span runs for 794 ft (242 meters) and the decrease degree includes 466 ft (142 meters).

The width of the bridge is 21 ft (6.Four meters) at its most, with the higher aqueduct portion measuring Four ft or 1.2 meters.

For instance of the accuracy in precision of Roman engineers, the whole bridge descends just one inch (2.5 centimeters) a gradient of just one in 18,241. All the aqueduct system descends in peak, a mere 41 ft (12.6 meters).

The Pont du Gard was constructed principally with out using mortar or clamps. It accommodates an estimated 50,400 tons of limestone, with a complete quantity of 740,00zero cubic ft. A number of the particular person blocks weigh as much as 6 tons.

The Shelly limestone utilized in development is coarse-grained and delicate reddish in shade. It lends itself nicely for a constructing materials, permitting exact cuttings, which are held collectively by friction and gravity alone. It thus eliminates the necessity for mortar, which can deteriorate over time. It is likely one of the the reason why the bridge has lasted by way of the ages.

Henri II de Rohan, Duke of Rohan

Within the centuries following the collapse of the Roman Empire, native bishops and nobles turned liable for the maintenance of the bridge. In change, they have been permitted to cost tolls to vacationers, needing to cross the Gardon River.

Within the 13th century the French king granted this proper to the lords of Uzes, which was later handed to the bishops of the world.

Through the years quite a few stones had been looted from the bridge. Nevertheless probably the most critical injury occurred within the 1620’s, when Henri Duke of Rohan, needed to make use of the bridge to move artillery, through the wars between the Huguenots and the French royalists.

To perform his process, the Duke had one aspect of the second row of arches reduce away to a depth of about one-third of its unique width. Carts and cannons might now be accommodated, however it left the bridge severely weakened, consequently.

The next century would deliver growing consideration by the French authorities and people fascinated by touring to see distinctive historic websites.

Because the aqueduct bridge turned a extra fashionable vacationer vacation spot, it prompted the native authorities and the nationwide authorities of France, to start a collection of renovations from the 18th via the 21st centuries.

It will turn into a part of the well-known Grand Tour of Europe and a desired cease for these on a Compagnons du Tour de France.

In 1703, an effort was made regionally to start restore work and alternative for lacking stones. This culminated within the development of a brand new bridge from 1743 to 1747, subsequent to the arches on the decrease degree.

By 1830’s it was in critical hazard of collapse, from the lack of a lot of the unique stone work and the tireless forces of abrasion.

Aspect view of the aqueduct bridge.

When the French Emperor Napoleon III visited the location in 1850, he would quickly after approve the plans drawn up by the architect Charles Laisne, in an effort to save lots of the landmark. This restoration undertaking would truly be accomplished, in the course of the years 1855 to 1858.

Apparently, for the good thing about vacationers, stairs have been now put in at one finish, permitting guests to stroll alongside the conduit itself, with some warning.

Subsequent tasks continued to concentrate on offering additional architectural help to the arches and piers. It has survived three main floods during the last century, alone. In 1958 for instance, the entire decrease degree of the bridge was submerged by water, in a deluge that washed away different bridges.

One other critical flood would happen in 1998 and once more in 2002, damaging a lot of close by amenities.

Within the yr 2000, there was a gap of a brand new customer middle and the ultimate removing of visitors and buildings from the bridge. This may additionally embrace any newer buildings, within the adjoining space.


Handle: La Begude, 400 Route du Pont du Gard, 30210 Vers-Pont-du-Gard, France

Telephone: +33 (zero) Four-66-37-50-99

Fax: +33 (zero) 66-37-51-50

E mail- [email protected]

Web site:

When you want to go on an organized tour of the location:

Telephone: +33 (zero) Four-66-37-51-10

E mail: [email protected]


Discovery Move (Pont du Gard, Museum, Cine Ludo, the Memoires de Garrigue Path, Exhibition)

Grownup fee is eight.50 Euros ($9.68 USD) United States Greenback

Decreased worth is 6 Euros ($6.83 USD)

Youngster and younger grownup fee (6 to 17 years) is 6 Euros ($6.83 USD)

Beneath 6 is free

Cross Aqueduct is the Discovery Move plus a guided tour of the highest degree of the Aqueduct

Grownup price is 11.50 Euros ($13.09 USD)

Decreased worth is 9 Euros ($10.25 USD)

Baby and younger grownup price (6 to 17 years) is 6 Euros ($6.83)

Beneath 6 is free

Night charges in July and August solely, closing at 11 pm.

Grownup price is 5 Euros ($5.69)

Lowered worth is three Euros ($three.42)

Free for beneath 17 years of age

Parking is included within the worth of admission.

Days and Hours of Operations

The location is accessible 7 days every week, yr spherical. There are various hours of operation, relying on the season. It’s usually open by 9:00 am and closes as early as 6:00 pm within the winter months. In the course of the peak of the vacationer season it stays open till 10 and 11 pm.

Will probably be much more crowded through the summer time months, when extra individuals are on trip.


  • Obtainable within the close by city of Vers-Pont-du-Gard and close by communities.

Priceless Ideas

  • Will probably be much more crowded through the summer time months, when extra individuals are on trip. So if potential plan your journey, in the course of the off season.
  • If you’ll stroll on the bridge itself, as a part of your tour, put on applicable footwear.
  • To completely benefit from the website, no less than a half day of touring, will must be allotted.